Hunger and poverty are big challenges that require action. Many campaigns in these fields, however, are built upon stereotypes rather than knowledge. Changing this is the goal of the Rusty Radiator Awards which looks to lightheartedly ''recognise'' cliché fundraising campaigns.
Big, sad eyes, torn clothing and a dreary backdrop – these are the images presented to us by small and big organisations calling for donations. The most beloved players in these pictures are children. But what we are seeing here are clichés – development aid should look different!
Showing how this can be done is the aim of the Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH) who are behind the Rusty Radiator Awards. ''We need to change the way fundraising campaigns about poverty and development are communicated''. Problems in poverty and famine-affected regions can be fixed with just a few cents from the west, as many campaigns suggest. Portraying the issues in these regions in such a simple light (alongside the stereotypical images) leads to the complex factors that contribute to poverty falling by the wayside such as the fact that western countries are a large part of the problem in the first place.
The international jury has this year again nominated four donation clips for the Rusty Radiator Award, each demonstrating exactly how not to present development aid. Three other clips, nominated for the Golden Radiator Award, show how it should be done. Voting is currently underway – take a look and cast a vote for your favourite.
Who Wants to be a Volunteer – A Reality Show for Development Workers
SAIH announced the 2014 Awards via its new parody video which shows extremely engaged people being cast in a reality show about volunteer positions in Africa. Of course, ''Who Wants to be a Volunteer'' is not a real show and Africa is not a country. But the images of the white heroine among the 'exotic foreigners' are definitely not a new thing.
SAIH already brandished its sense of humour in 2012 and 2013 with the campaigns ''Africa for Norway'' (it can get very cold in Norway!):
and ''Let's Save Africa – Gone Wrong!'' featuring Michael, the 'poster child' for fundraising campaigns
RESET, through its donation projects, also looks to provide innovative solutions to people worldwide to collaboratively and sustainably improve living conditions and opportunities. Linux4Africa equips schools, universities and community centres with Linux computers to bridge the digital divide and help support students' access to to free information and education opportunities. Education is key to combatting poverty. With your donation, you will support the installation of computers in schools and the training of computer experts.